Churchable greyhound racing identity Jenny Viles, 48, leaves Ipswich Courthouse charged with serious animal crulety offences. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
Churchable greyhound racing identity Jenny Viles, 48, leaves Ipswich Courthouse charged with serious animal crulety offences. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

Bail for trio charged with serious animal cruelty offences

UPDATE: Three more greyhound identities have faced court over the live baiting scandal which has shaken the industry to its core.

A joint police-RSPCA taskforce made the new arrests on Monday after a review of undercover camera footage which aired on the ABC earlier this year.

The footage allegedly revealed widespread live baiting practices taking place at a Churchable greyhound training facility.

Jenny Viles, 48, Matthew Lewis, 25, and Ashleigh Priggins, 18, appeared in Ipswich Magistrates Court on Tuesday, charged with serious animal cruelty offences.

Ms Viles is facing an additional charge of interfering with a witness after police alleged she used social media to harass and intimidate a witness.

Churchable greyhound racing identity Matthew Lewis, 25, leave Ipswich Courthouse charged with serious animal crulety offences. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
Churchable greyhound racing identity Matthew Lewis, 25, leave Ipswich Courthouse charged with serious animal crulety offences. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

Police prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said the case against Ms Viles was particularly strong.

He said there was extensive footage showing her allegedly participating in live baiting.

"These are very serious charges which carry a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment," he said.

Duty lawyer Leah Scott said Ms Viles, who sat crying in the dock with her head bowed, would enlist high-profile lawyer Chris Hannay to represent her in the future.

She said Ms Viles feared 80 greyhounds and several horses on her property would be destroyed as a result of her strict bail conditions.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum granted all three bail, albeit under a host of strict conditions.

Those bail conditions included not having any contact with four individuals, not possessing or handling any animals, not attending any racetrack or training facility and reporting weekly to Gatton police.

All three are due to appear again in Ipswich Magistrates Court on January 6.
 

EARLIER: Three more people have been charged with animal cruelty offences stemming from the greyhound live baiting scandal which has rocked the industry.

A joint police-RSPCA taskforce yesterday charged Jenny Viles, 48, Matthew Lewis, 25, and Ashleigh Priggins, 18, after a review of undercover camera footage.

It will be alleged that greyhounds were live baited at a greyhound training facility in Churchable.

Police will further allege social media was used to harass and intimidate a witness.

All three will appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court today.

Ms Viles has been charged with three counts of serious animal cruelty and one count of interfering with a witness.

She was refused bail.

Ms Priggins was charged with two serious animal cruelty offences and was granted bail.

Mr Lewis was charged with three serious animal cruelty offences and was refused bail.

Police said investigations are continuing and the Task Force urges anyone with information about live baiting practises, whether historic or current, to come forward and assist the investigation.


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